The video shows two masked protesters in the Sai Wan Ho neighborhood of Hong Kong confronting a police officer during an early morning protest designed to disrupt rush hour traffic. It’s unclear what exactly prompted the scuffle, but the officer quickly drew his gun and shoved it into the chest of one of the protesters while grabbing him with his free arm. The second protester approached the struggle and the cop appeared to shoot him somewhere in the torso.
The protester quickly fell to the ground. The officer fired two more shots and the other protester was also brought to the ground, but it is unclear if he was hit. Both protesters were then handcuffed and taken to the hospital. They were alive and conscious when they arrived, according to CNBC.
The Hong Kong government said in a new release that police had been responding to reports of vandalism and disruptions to traffic prior to the incident.
“During police operations, one police has discharged his service revolver, one male was shot,” according to the release. They denied online rumors that officers had been ordered to “recklessly use their firearms,” slamming the allegation as “totally false and malicious.”
came on the heels of the death of a 22-year-old student, who had fallen from a parking garage during an earlier protest, on Friday and the arrest of several pro-democracy lawmakers over the weekend. Hong Kong has seen a steady and increasingly violent throughout the year.